I miss my grandma

by Dale McCabe
(Toronto, Ontario)

Hi. I'm 15 years old. I miss my grandma so much even though she's not gone yet. She's bedridden in the hospital because she's in the late stages of Alzheimer's/Dementia. The doctors say she has 3-6 months left, but it's really just a shell of her. She doesn't speak anymore, just stares at us blankly when we go and visit her.
I didn't really notice her progression through the disease because I saw her every week. I didn't realize how much I had lost because I lost it bit by bit over 8 years. But it really hit me hard about 2 months ago when she was permanently admitted into the hospital because she was too much for my grandpa to handle. That's when I started to think about the past and how she used to be. It depresses me now to think of how she was and the fun times we used to have and her amazing attitude towards life. She used to tell me stories about her past and about family history. I even miss the early stages of Alzheimer's when she told me the same stories over and over again and how she'd ask me 10 times whether I wanted a snack. I wish I had paid more attention to those stories because I'm never going to hear them again.
Every time I think of her I cry because I end up thinking of all the things that I'll never be able to tell her, and the fact that she won't be at my graduation.
But a few weeks ago, she had this moment of clarity where when I came into the room, and she smiled (she hasn't smiled in months. She said that she was so glad that I was there. I told her about my camping trip and showed her pictures. She smiled at them and almost laughed at one. It was the best thing I had ever seen. We left a half hour later because she fell asleep. I came back two days later, but she stared at me blankly as if she didn't know me. I've gone back many times but she never had a moment like that again.
I'm dreaded Christmas this year because it just won't be the same without her.

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